Photo: Bridge over Ulster Canal, Tyholland by Kenneth Allen
(24 miles in North Ireland and 20 miles in the Republic of Ireland, Canal in various ownerships)
In July 2007 plans were announced for the £39 million partial restoration of the Ulster Canal, enabling the re-opening of the south western part of the Canal from Lough Erne at Wattlebridge and the town of Clones. Restoration of the Ulster Canal has long been a campaign of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (which covers both the Republic and Northern Ireland) and was supported by WRG Canal Camps at Benburb (in Northern Ireland) and Clones (in the Republic) in the late 1990s.
The Ulster Canal was built in 1841 to link the Erne system and the Shannon with Lough Neagh, but its success was short lived. It has 26 locks and about 70 per cent of the original canal is in place. The Canal to Clones is due to re-open in about 2015. When full restoration of the Ulster Canal from Lough Erne to Lough Neagh is complete it would bring together a network of over 600 miles of navigable waterway linking Limerick, Waterford, Dublin and Enniskillen to Monaghan and on to Coleraine.